Dear Shaded Viewers,
At the time of our cyber chat, the newly established brand Louis Shengtao Chen finds Louis in Chongqing setting up his studio after presenting his first ever catwalk during Shanghai Fashion Week. Louis earned his BA in Fashion Print and currently pursuing his MA in Fashion from Central Saint Martins. In 2020 he was awarded Ports 1961 full scholarship, LVMH Grand Prix Scholarship and in 2019 British Fashion Council BA Scholarship. Let’s just say he had great support with his debut collection at Shanghai Fashion Week. ‘The Debutante’ collection was inspired by “The Debutante Ball” which is a social event timed to present the upper-class females to society. Louis puts his focus on the excitement, the confidence and fun leading up to the theatrical and dramatic first entrance. Loving to crash through the traditional luxury textiles, Louis sources everyday materials, such as packing tape, vintage ties and mechanical parts and fuses them together with immaculate craftsmanship combined with French tailoring to give a whole new attitude and value to the common everyday elements. He likes to say that it where vulgarity and elegance coexist. Gender is not an issue with the collection, “It’s not because I am trying to get rid of the gender label, I just simply love the sense of contradiction in design”, says Louis. The mix of materials includes mechanical parts, rubber, metal, lace, cashmere and silk creating his own vision of a new brand of elegance.
Following is our cyber chat:
DP: Do you consider yourself a day person or a night person?
LC: Definitely a night person, my mind goes really over the top during the night, he says laughing.
DP: What kind of music do you like?
LC: Classic, jazz, experimental…
DP: Same question but about films and books?
LC: My Own Private Idaho, Perfect Blue (films); The strange world of Willie Seabrook, The Devotion of Suspect X (books).
DP: Did you always want to work in fashion?
LC: Yes, probably from the age of 8. My mom would leave fashion magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan…in the bathroom.
DP: Anyone in particular that inspired you?
LC: Faye Wong, Jane Birkin
DP: I have to interject here how much I loved Faye Wong from the moment I saw her slinging food in Chungking Express.
DP: What was the starting point of your debut collection?
LC: A visual came up in my mind: a group of girls decorating each other in a red velvet room, they were getting ready to participate in their first role as a debutante presenting themselves to society.
DP: What kind of textiles do you use?
LC: A mix of hard materials such as mechanical parts, rubber and metal with soft fabrics like lace, cashmere and silk.
DP: Do the current buzzwords: sustainability and diversity play a part in your creations?
LC: Yes, I did embroidered pieces with upcycled metal beads, it was a carry-over technique from my BA graduate collection. Denim pieces were from deconstructed existing old denim jackets, trousers and applied on flocking (velvetlike) screen printing.
DP: How would you describe luxury?
LC: Rebranding what is modern luxury is my key goal with my brand, it should not be about using high-cost fabrics or big production on branding/images anymore, I hope that my brand can start leading Chinese consumers to re-examine LUXURY and pay more attention on quality/finishing/and an original approach to design.
DP: What is your goal for the future?
LC: For now, to expand my team, for the longer plan I want to take my design with me to go to farther places, farther occasions.
Louis Shengtao Chen AW21 ‘The Debutante’ @louisshengtaochen
Art Direction:Zenus Art Studio Make Up:鑫淼团队 @xinmiao1988 Hair:华子团队 @xuyouhua
PR:BOH PROJECT @boh.project Styling: @zipengli
Film Director:范庆 @fanqqqing
Music: 蔡佳成 @recklesssoda <untitled> by 过山⻋ & 王⻉⻉
Producer:shanshan at ate Visual Editing:su at ate Line Producer:Tuanzi、su at ate